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Stalin and Hitler: Great Leaders?

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Question: Individuals like Stalin and Hitler committed grave crimes against humanity. Were these individuals great leaders? Explain.

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RESPONSE:

1. Individuals like Stalin and Hitler committed grave crimes against humanity. Were these individuals great leaders? Explain.

Leadership for these two men, who both created horrendous atrocities against humanity are complex, and somewhat controversial.

For example, for Stalin, despite the magnitude of his crimes, Stalin's legacy remains complex. There are some people who view Stalin as "the worst monster who ever ruled, a modern Genghis Khan who devoured his own children?(1). Others, however, view Stalin in the exact opposite light. Rather, this group of people sees him as "a resolute and even heroic leader?(1) who led the country and acted in a way necessary for the modernization of Russia and the defeat of its enemies. Even those who managed to live through the Stalin year's later report that their memories are of a "time of vibrant idealism and energy.?(Rappaport, 1999). (5).

Stalin is reported to have transformed the Soviet Union from an agricultural nation to a global superpower. While Stalin's social and economic policies laid the foundations for the USSR's emergence as a superpower, however, his harshness in conducting Soviet affairs was brought down by his successors in the Communist Party leadership, notably the denunciation of Stalinism by Nikita Khrushchev in February 1956. (6). Initially, Stalin had the ability to persuade people to see him a certain way using the media and public events to consolidate his image and power in the eyes of the Russian people, sometimes to level of being worshiped as a god. Stalin even changed the past through the falsification of historical material; Stalin highlighted his figure, as a hero, the creator, the father of his nation and the moral-political unity of it. (4) These were the deceitful methods that make it difficult to associate with a great leader, even though there were Russian advancements. However, not everyone agrees.

From a liberal perspective, for example:

"I used to think of Joseph Stalin as a tyrant and butcher who jailed and killed millions. . . . But, to about a billion people today, Stalin is the opposite of what we in the capitalist world have been programmed to believe. . . . From a Communist point of view, Stalin was certainly one of the greatest of revolutionary leaders. . . .?(Horowitz, 2006, pp. 185-186).(3)

However, every assessment of Stalin's leadership cannot ignore the horrendous cost of human lives, and the immeasurable physical, moral, and psychological destruction he left behind.

HITLER

Hitler's legacy is similar. Hitler had the ...

Solution Summary

Individuals like Stalin and Hitler committed grave crimes against humanity. This solution examines whether or not these individuals were great leaders. References provided in APA format.

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